water disappearing from toilet bowl

Why Is Water Disappearing from Toilet Bowl

So you walk into your bathroom only to find the water has disappeared from the toilet bowl. This can cause a lot of worry and confusion, but it shouldn’t because you can easily find out why and fix the problem. 

Water receding from the toilet bowl indicates damage to toilet components. The problem could be with the flapper valve, toilet intake, or even the toilet ring. 

Before fixing the problem, make sure you investigate to determine the cause. This will ensure you know what to tackle to make sure you do not damage your toilet further. 

Causes and Solutions Of Water Disappearing From Toilet Bowl

Finding out the cause of the dropping water level in the toilet bowl should be the first action to take once you notice the problem. Doing so will guide you when fixing the problem.

Here are the likely causes of this problem.

1. Flapper Valve Issues

The flapper valve lets water drain into the toilet tank when the toilet refills after flushing. However, if the bowl empties, the valve could be the cause.

To determine if the flapper valve is the problem, put food coloring on the toilet tank’s back and watch if the flowing water is colored. If colored water flows into the toilet tank, you will need to replace the valve.


To fix a flapper valve that’s leaking, you will need to shut off the intake pipe’s valve located below the tank to stop water from going into the toilet tank. Drain the tank by flushing, then disconnect the flapper valve.

Remove the chain hook, then put in a new flapper valve. 

See also Why is the Toilet flapper leaking after replacement

2. Improperly Set Water Level

Toilets are designed to have adjustable water levels, but setting the level too low or high will make your toilet not to function well. The water levels could be the issue if your toilet bowl keeps losing water.


You can readjust your toilet’s water level by setting right the intake valve using a screwdriver to increase or lower the water level. Depending on the toilet model, you will find a screw to reset the valve at the intake pipe’s bottom or top. 

3. Damaged Toilet Bowl

While this issue is not common, it can still happen, so don’t disregard it during your inspection. Check the toilet base and bowl for cracks.

Make sure you inspect the toilet base for signs of water or the walls and floor for water stains as they will indicate this problem. 


Replace the bowl ring to solve the problem. If water continues disappearing from the bowl after the replacement, you probably have a cracked toilet that you must replace. 

Read also Why is there urine around toilet base

4. Damaged Seals

The seal inside your toilet base connecting to the flange can get damaged, causing the water to disappear from the toilet bowl. The water-tight seal/ wax bowl ring can be popped open by jarring the toilet back and forth or rocking it backward and forward.

The bowl ring is the problem if there are signs of water seeping under your bathroom floorboards or into the floor. 


Fix a damaged seal by replacing the wax bowl ring after detaching the toilet from the flange.

See also White or clear caulk around toilet?

5. Toilet Paper Issue

Your toilet trap is probably partially clogged by toilet paper if there’s water in the toilet tank but not the bowl. This is because the water in the toilet bowl will be siphoned out by toilet paper, lowering or diminishing its levels. 

You can confirm this problem by flushing the toilet. Once you do that, you might see the water levels slightly overflowing to the toilet rim the sip gradually until it drains entirely or leaves a small quantity in the bowl. 


Remove the clog with a plumbing auger or plunge it. The upside of using a plumbing auger is that the process will take up less water. 

See also Toilet paper holder left or right?

6. A Gravity Issue

The extra water available if you flush your toilet with a bucket uses the gravitational force to flush the toilet without the tank playing a role. 

Human waste can trigger sufficient extra weight in some upper floor toilets, triggering a flush. If this happens, engage the toilet tank to clean the bowl and replace the water.

7. Poorly Placed Trip Assembly

The flush handle and toilet tank are connected by the trip assembly that must the positioned well to prevent it from blocking itself. Failure to set this component properly will interrupt your toilet’s flush cycle, meaning the loo won’t flush properly, and the bowl won’t fill up. 


Open the tank lid and check the trip assembly’s positioning. If you discover it is damaged, bent, worn out, or broken, replace it.

8. A Blocked Sewer Vent Pipe

Air flows freely in the sewer vent pipes depending on sewer/air gas. A blockage will compel the vent pipe to find air from outlets in other areas in your house, explaining the gurgling noises you hear as the water gets siphoned with air. 

Sometimes the water quickly escapes the trap way down the sewer pipes when you flush, leaving the toilet bowl empty. This is followed by gurgling sounds breaking the seal, and little water can flow back to the bowl. 

Vent pipe blockages can be caused by different things like a bird’s nest, leaves, debris, and small branches if you live in a forested area. 


Climb up to your roof to clear and clean the plumbing vents. Doing so will ensure air flows freely in and out of the venting system, allowing your plumbing system to function under the correct pressure.

If your vents get blocked often, consider covering or griding them to keep branches and leaves away. 

9. Low Float Ball

The float ball prevents water from overflowing during a toilet tank refill, regulating the float arm once the water reaches peak level. In the case of a low float ball, water may not flow into the toilet tank well, preventing it from filling up, leading to an inadequate supply into the toilet bowl.


Bend the float arm to fix the float ball, raising the water quantities going into the tank. Moreover, if the float ball is worn out, get a new one and replace it. 

Consider hiring a professional plumber if you don’t think you can adjust the toilet arm correctly. 

Read also How to protect bathroom floor from urine

FAQ on Water Disappearing from Toilet Bowl

1. What Causes The Water Level In The Toilet Bowl To Drop?

Many things can make water levels in your toilet bowl drop. They include clogging, a damaged water bowl or seals, problems with the flapper valve, and positioning the trip assembly poorly.

In addition, water can disappear from your toilet bowl if the float ball is low or the sewer vent pipes are blocked. 

2. How Do You Get More Water To Stay In The Toilet Bowl?

You can get sufficient water to remain in your toilet bowl by finding what is causing the water to disappear then fixing the issue. In some cases, you may need to replace the malfunctioning component like the flapper valve.

In other cases, you can easily fix the issue by making the necessary adjustments. For instance, you can declutter and clean the plumbing vents to unblock the sewer vent pipes.


It is essential to ensure your toilet bowl holds about three cups of water to keep foul smells generating from the drainpipe at bay, keeping your home fresh. Therefore, fix the issues as soon as you notice that the water disappears from your toilet bowl.

Read also How to protect floor around toilet 

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